Did you think the rain was going to stop us from running amok at the Brooklyn Book Festival?? Absolutely not. And neither was missing a train or getting my car towed!
|Lori, Lenore & myself|
To say the Brooklyn Book Festival was a wonderful experience would be an understatement. To say my journey to get there was a wonderful experience would be a BIG FAT LIE. To make a long story short–I wake up at 4:45am. Blah. I’m going to miss my train and so I make a detour to another station that I might have a chance of making and only half pay attention to parking signs as I’m unfamiliar with this station. Apparently, it is permit parking only and is a tow-away zone. Oopsie. I freak out, as I’m already on the train, and get worried that I’ll be towed or heavily fined. That is how I started out. (Luckily, later on in the day, my wonderful stepdad went and took care of things).
Anyways, on to the good stuff. I meet up with Lenore from Presenting Lenore and her husband, Daniel, on the train to Penn Station. Lenore is so wonderful and sweet! She helped calm me down during my panic session about my car! I’m sure I made quite a first impression haha. Anyways, it was really nice chatting with her on the train. We then meet up with Lori from The Next Best Book Club at Penn Station and take the subway to Brooklyn. This is exciting as we have “known” each other on Goodreads for 2 years!! And I must say, it was not a disappointment! We had so much fun together.
We arrived there early so we walked around and tried to get the lay of the land and meet up with our friends Erika and Amy over at Harper Perennial. So nice to finally meet Erika as she gives me awesome book recommendations! Our first panel was at 11am where we attended “Next Texts: Five Debut Novelists” where we saw Sean Ferrell, Ivy Pochoda, Helen Simonson, Tanya Wright (FROM TRUE BLOOD!) and Teddy Wayne read from their books. Some new books were added to my mental TBR list during this panel!
Lori and I part ways at 12 and I make my way to the panel that I was MOST excited for– “Pop Life: Music, Memory, and America’s Coming to Age.” This is where I will enter a big fan girl SQUEE because I met ROB SHEFFIELD!
|Rob & I!|
This panel was hilarious and awesome with the mix of Rob, Joshua Clover, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. I laughed so much. Music is very important to me and this panel was so interesting as each panelist discussed music’s role in their lives, as all of them write about music, and how songs take on many personal and political meanings throughout our life and how that shapes some of who we are and how we define ourselves. It was something I could really relate to.
Then we had some free time and I got to meet up with a good friend from the College Students group on Goodreads that I created! She was one of the first five or so people in the group when it started exactly two years ago and we’ve always gotten along real well. It was wonderful to meet her and I told my boyfriend, when I got home, that if we lived nearby we’d pretty much be best friends. Good times for sure.
We then made our way over to the Youth Stoop to see Lauren Oliver, Sara Shepard and Jenny Han read from their novels and discuss the theme of redemption in terms of their characters and also in life. It was a really interesting and Kirsten Miller, who was the moderator, asked some really interesting questions. It was interesting to learn who the authors were in high school and if they feel like they are the same role that they played in high school. After that I rushed over to get Lauren Oliver to sign my copy of Before I Fall. She was really sweet and we chatted a little about how popular YA is with people who are older than the “targeted” age.
|Kirsten, Jenny, Sara, Lauren|
The last hour or so we went to see readings by Per Petterson (whose books I need to pick up ASAP), Scott Spencer and Terese Svoboda. After that, since we decided we didn’t feel like waiting in the rain for tickets to see Dennis Lehane, we went back to Harper’s booth and said bye to Erika! We had a good time talking and laughing with her and all agreed that we couldn’t wait to be dry and warm! I, for one, was pretty sick of looking and feeling like a wet dog. I mean, honestly, I was looking like a hot mess after being rained on all day and up since an ungodly hour. After we said goodbye, Lori and I made a quick pit stop to the Dennis Lehane signing and I also got to meet Nick Flynn! And then, it was adios to Brooklyn, and back to public transportation.
|Erika & I|
Throughout the day I also got to meet some other bloggers and that is always exciting to put a face to a blog name! I got the pleasure of meeting Nicole from Linus’s Blanket, Allie from Hist-Fic Chick, and Mitali from Alley of Books.
All said and done, rain and my epic morning failure to be on time aside, it was an awesome event and I will be returning next year! On to the National Book Festival in two weeks where I may or may not have another fangirl moment while I meet Jonathan Safran Foer!